You might probably be wondering why rats can crowd your building in a short time. Perhaps you have thought of blocking their mating season so that they will be easily eliminated. But let me tell you this fact, rats do not have a mating season and only extreme temperatures (too hot or too cold) may decrease the chance of rats to be sexually active. A rat can reach its sexual maturity at five weeks since its birth. They don't recognize blood relations too. Incest is not in their vocabulary, so they can make out with their brothers, sisters, or even parents.
As long as a female rat heats up, mating can begin. In a year, a female rat can feel the heat of making out every 4 to 5 days. Even a pregnant rat can still feel heat during the early times of pregnancy. It is very easy to take note of a female rat's time to heat. Although sometimes it varies, but more often, a female rat heats up during early evening until the rest of the night. When a female rat is in heat, it is noticeable that her vagina will be open widely. Otherwise, it is tightly closed.
In times that a female rat heats up, she will find a way to get near a male rat. However, if she's not in the mood of mating, it is quite difficult for the male rat to seduce her because the female can fight him with all its force. A buck (male rat) can distinguish if a doe (female rate) is in heat because the latter may perform a mating dance. The said dance can be observe when the doe stretches her legs straight, spin around, move her ears, and lift her tail and head. This signals the male rat that the doe is ready to make out at this moment. Then foreplay happens because before the real mating begins, several mounting must be done by the male rat first. Although sometimes in just a single mount mating may start, but this is rare. When mounting, the male rat sniffs and licks the female rat. Then he will grasp the nape of the female rat with the use of his teeth. After this process, mating can be done in as fast as two seconds!
The pregnancy will take up to, usually, 22 days. But sometimes, it may range between 21 to 28 days. Rats, either male or female, are normally protective with their pups, unlike other animals that eat their offspring. However, if you want to minimize the rat infestation, you better separate males from females because a female rat can heat up again after 24 hours post-delivery. Therefore, she is capable of getting pregnant again after delivery!
A rat can give birth in an average of 6 to 13 pups or kittens. The delivery can be complete after 1 to 2 hours. Within this, the mother rat will have a litter every five to 10 minutes. She will be the one to pull off her pups using her hands and teeth. Then, she will eat the placenta and the umbilical cord to clean the baby. The pup wiggles after the mother has removed its sac. This is a sign that the pup is healthy and to avoid the mother from also eating the baby.
See how fast rats can reproduce? No wonder there are thousands of them in the world, in various species. And hundreds of them may be found your households. So if you are serious about getting rid of the infestation of rats in your environment, stopping their mating perhaps is a good start. Even so, the best way to prevent rats' large numbers is to maintain cleanliness so there will be no chance of the bucks and does or dams to procreate.
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- ▼ September (65)